Super Fun Day at Garage and Estate Sales

I’m back in Colorado after a flying (literally and figuratively) trip to Michigan to celebrate the life of one of my favorite uncles.  As if to welcome me back, we had a whee of a time shopping last Friday.

But first, let me show you how one of my cacti welcomed me home:

Cactus flowerThis is why I grow some of the ugliest cacti in Christendom.  It’s nothing to look at until it pops out one of these babies.  My second-ugliest cactus looks to be blooming soon and I’ll try to capture one of its flowers.

We went to a sale that sounded awesome in the ad:

Fun bird house

But not really garage sale prices.  We did, however, like this cute bird house.  Upside down, a rake appears to be the peacock of the garden-tool world.

There’s a funny story attached to this picture:

Funny Story

We were minding our own business at a garage sale, bestowing quarters (25¢ ones, not fat ones) left and right, when a man asked the crowd at large, “Who owns that purple truck?”  Well, that would be Kathy.  He approached and offered her $10 to haul his new barbecue to his nearby house.  How could you beat that?  Kathy is the only person I know who can make money at someone else’s garage sale!  And the best part?  We didn’t even have to do any lifting.

After a few more garage sales, we headed to Goodwill.  This little guy was just screaming for attention:

Pig portraitWe really aren’t pig people (for my part, I helped out on a farm and had to slop the pigs with a 2×4 in hand), but whoever painted this did an excellent job of giving this little guy a Babe-like sweetness.  I’m sure it flew right out the door with the first pig lover who saw it.

Kathy pulled this toy off the shelf to unnerve the Summer Intern:

Son of Big Bird

For my part, he looks like the love child of Big Bird and Ernie.

We looked down on the lower shelf and noticed this whole box-full of Storybook clone dolls:

Vintage story book clones with hand made clothingSomeone did a nice job crocheting outfits for them.  They were oh-so-cute, but we try not to buy this kind of doll.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a few on our shelves, but we left this collection for someone else to love.

There are a few strange things going on with this piggy bank:

I'm just a mixed up piggy bankIts apparent identity crisis made me wonder if a plastic toy could grow up feeling like a different animal inside, à la The Ugly Duckling?  Obviously, this pig is experimenting with other animal identities, before committing to one species.  This little paragraph is a perfect example of why I should never, ever, write a children’s book.

We sure did see some odd creatures on Friday:

Hare raising experience

Neither of these would win a beauty contest.  The poor bunny on the left couldn’t even be removed from its support after being fired, or maybe they didn’t even bother, given how he turned out.  We’re hoping that his appearance was some sort of freak kiln accident.  The rabbit on the right has no excuse; he looks to be a cross between a rabbit and Bigfoot.  Just imagine how excited Bobo, from Finding Bigfoot (I am so embarrassed to admit I even know who he is), would be if he shopped at this Goodwill!

After lunch, we headed over to a sale by our least favorite estate sale people.  Who knew that they could hold an amusing sale?


The bedroom had some amazing old clothing, but we were in love with this lovely old petticoat.  Of course we didn’t buy it; we don’t shop with the Smithsonian’s budget!

The yin to all the gorgeous clothing’s yang is this lamp:

Grotesque ceramic lamp

Even its tag describes it as “grotesque”.  It’s a touch too strange for my taste, but the real grotesque is the price–$25o.  It would require a big ol’ silk lampshade too, which wouldn’t come cheap.

We took a step outside into the backyard, and it was this table and chair set which initially caught my eye:

Fatastic table top, less fantastic chairs

The table top is fabulous formica, and it’s fun even without its legs.  The accompanying chairs are ever so less fabulous!  I can understand the original vinyl upholstery wearing out and reupholstering, but who on earth would choose that color of crushed velvet?  Ugly with a capital UG!  And the price is pretty UG too–$325.

On the other hand, you don’t see these very often:

Buckboard benchesSomeone removed the old buckboard benches off wagons and used them for garden benches.  If you’re heavy enough, you might even be able to make that big spring underneath bounce you up and down.  I’m pretty sure you would need to add some padding to make sitting and bouncing comfortable.

Downstairs was even more fun than the upstairs:

Basement time-capsule kitchen

The apartment kitchen was a perfect late ’40s to early ’50s time capsule.  The stove was about two feet wide and I’ve heard them called apartment stoves.  I had one in my first apartment with an oven door that opened like a cupboard door.  It too was about two feet wide, and you had to stick your whole head and shoulders in it to light the pilot conveniently located at the very back.  The refrigerator in the picture is natural gas-powered and wasn’t for sale.  The estate sale people said that you can’t sell them any more; it’s a pity, since this specimen is so minty that it even had its brochure.

I should say that everything in the kitchen was painted a creamy white color.  I really needed to adjust the white balance on my little point and shoot!  This cupboard was pretty dang cute too:

Time capsule cabinet The bottom shelf had some paper boxes of spices.  I’m not even sure when commercial spices came in paper boxes and not tins.

This Westinghouse cabinet TV was wonderful:

cabinet tvIt didn’t surprise me that it was sold.  Hopefully someone got it on the half-priced day since I’m not sure it even works any more:

Westinghouse cabinet tvIt would make a great prop for a theater company, if they were staging plays from the ’50s or early ’60s.  As a side note, my mother told me that the first time she saw a television in the early ’50s, she wasn’t that impressed because only boxing was being televised.  Radio was much more fun!

That’s it for this week–thanks for tuning in.  We want to wish all the wonderful dads out there a Happy Father’s Day!!

King for a day



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14 Responses to Super Fun Day at Garage and Estate Sales

  1. Oh.. that estate sale was fun. What a great time capsule Can’t believe that I bought a sofa and matching chair, but we managed to make space for it in our home where they will be well-loved. Half-off day was great!

    • kathy & deb says:

      They were a great deal for $60, and if weight is any indication of quality, they are wonderfully constructed.

  2. giarte says:

    great stuff! by the way, that ivy-on-bricks wallpaper inside that cabinet looks just like the stuff in the closets of a summer house my folks bought in ’84. lots of odd old wallpaper in that place, some had been painted over. gone now, house has been renovated a few times since then.

  3. Andrea says:

    Are you certain that lamp cost $250? Maybe they were offering money for someone to take it…UGH!
    Very cute, that a man needed to borrow Kathy’s truck. And $10 can get you quite a lot at the right sale.
    Great post!

    • kathy & deb says:

      Hey Andrea, yeah that lamp was $250–I checked my picture! This is why we aren’t crazy about that estate sale company until the second day; their prices are at the top end of an antique store! Thanks so much for reading and enjoying!!

  4. Love the story about the truck. I literally laughed out loud. That is SO Kathy!

    And yeah, we have an estate sale company here in Denver that tends to not only overprice things, but then they only accept cash. I’ve had to pass on a number of things just because I didn’t want to run to the bank for more money.

    • kathy & deb says:

      I really don’t like the cash only requirement–what if you find something big? I think they should make it easier on their clients to shop, shop, shop!!!

      • I think so, too. And the Square is free to get, and not horribly expensive to use. They’re just being lazy.

      • kathy & deb says:

        Well, maybe just not too smart either. The estate sale company from last Friday didn’t charge sales tax, which is going to get them in some trouble pretty darn soon.

  5. bunny on the left is definantly a craft fail… been there done that myself, but please someone put that poor bunny out of his misery LOL

    • kathy & deb says:

      If he’s still there, I might buy him and hide him in the yard as part of my beautification of Fort Collins program. 😉

  6. Nancy says:

    I’m always impressed with people who can shop garage sales/second hand and FIND things. I have no eye, no patience, and thus walk away with nothing! Ha! Glad you had a great day. =)

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